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1.02.2008

Thoughts from Vacation - On Apologizing for Slavery

Today's news in New Jersey -whether or not this state which was one of the last of the northern states to abolish slavery ought to issue an apology. An NBC 10 poll (which I put little stock in but which peaked my curiosity) indicates that 88% of New Jersey-ans say "no" and only 12% say "yes."** One person interviewed said, "what does it hurt to apologize?" My knee-jerk response to that is, "with an attitude like that, how sincere might the apology be?"

I remember the VERY powerful anti-racism training I attended in the Diocese of Chicago (to learn more about Crossroads Ministries, the Chicago-based organization that facilitated and led this training, click here) --- a 2 1/2 day event that focused on dismantling institutional racism and I have to conclude that while an apology is a good step in the right direction; an apology without any legislative changes to the ongoing institutional racism is, in fact, meaningless. I found some helpful insights from New Jersey comedian/politician Joey Novick on his blog, "New Jersey: Politics Unusual" - two posts, in particular caught my eye: this one from New Year's Day and this one from mid-December. I'm curious as to others thoughts on this issue.

**Interestingly, I cannot find a link to the poll or the related article on their website, but here is the link to the site nonetheless: http://www.nbc10.com/index.html

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your thoughts, Happy New Year to you and your family. By the way, I also like The Color Purple and Smilla's Sense of Snow very much, too.

Joey Novick

Anonymous said...

http://www.episcopalcafe.com/daily/race/racism_overt_covert_and_latent.php This link to the Episcopal Cafe's article on three types of racism: Overt, Covert, and Latent was helpful - particularly for those who continue to insist there is no more racism in America.